The Poet, and the Codependant Middle Manager

Are of imagination all compact.

In 2000 my time working in huge IT corporations was over although I didn’t know it. I wanted to do an MA in Creative Writing, and go it alone in the world of poetry. I’d been writing a lot of poetry since 1990, and by the mid nineties I had 60 or so poems published in the small press. These are now collected in What You Will See at Gatto Publishing .com.

I never planned to leave IT, it just worked out that way. I left Cellnet in 2001, and started my MA at Goldsmiths the same year thinking it would be a year out. But the course instilled a new way of thinking. All the conscientious input and hard work that had served IT so well was suddenly serving me, for my own future. I was no longer a slave to IT, but more importantly for me, I was no longer a slave to the established world of poetry and its dull conventions.

Oh yes, the established world of published poetry dominated by Faber and a handful of others with a tiny poetry output the sales of which are so slight that Amazon doesn’t even measure it. That world was not my world, which was a shame because up till the 1994 New Generation marketing extravaganza that put poets on Radio 1, the poetry scene was a diverse and wonderful world that I felt part of. Readings were exhilarating rather than embarrassing. Matthew Sweeney used to start each poem by saying “more food”, and I knew what he meant.

So now I write poetry, fiction, blogs, and satire on the web to a good sized audience.Art is no accident. Confidence, good decisions, engagement, intuition. All great tools for the writer.

But how manipulated and how out of control I was up to that decision to do an MA, and that non decision to leave IT.

The Conscientious Worker

And the Middle Manager

Are of a mind complete

Depending on each other

Yet neither one is happy.

The manager always grumbles

That the workers are grasping.

The workers always complain

That the manager holds them back.

And so they are maintained

In mortal wordless combat.